Colorado Reader Feb. 2020: Soil, Water, and Air Stewardship

olorado Reader Soil, Water, and Air Stewardship Think about the world right outside your classroom. What do you see? Maybe grass, a few trees, a parking lot full of cars, and other buildings off in the distance? Nearly everything you can see was made from natural resources. Just like us, plants and animals need natural resources to live! Natural resources are our treasures to protect. Agriculture depends on them – and we depend on agriculture. Sun – The sun is a source of energy for all life. Plant leaves capture sunlight to make food, or energy, to grow. Farm animals eat plants. By eating food from plants and animals, the sun gives us energy too. Soil – The soil beneath our feet is as important as the air we breathe and the water we drink. Soil holds water and nutrients plants need. Animals and people depend on plants for food, so we need soil too. Water – Plants drink water just like we do! Plant roots absorb water from the soil. Farm animals also need plenty of clean water to grow and stay healthy. Air – Plants and animals need clean air to live. Plants take in carbon dioxide that we breathe out. Animals and humans breathe in oxygen that plants release. What is a natural resource? A natural resource is something that exists freely in nature. They are not created by humans, but humans do use their supplies to survive and function. There are two types of natural resources: nonrenewable and renewable. Nonrewable resource: cannot be easily replaced once destroyed; examples include fossil fuels, rocks, and minerals Renewable resource: replenishes itself naturally; examples include animals, plants, air, soil, and water Natural resources are all connected in one way or another. If something happens to one, it will affect the supply or quality of all the others. We can protect and preserve our natural resources through stewardship. A steward is someone who takes responsibility for how they use and protect the environment. They utilize practices that help conserve our natural resources so generations in the future can use and enjoy them, as well. Connecting Colorado educators and students to their food, fiber, fuel, and natural resources.